>> Announcer: Live from San Juan, Puerto Rico, it's theCUBE, covering Blockchain Unbound Brought to you by Blockchain Industries

(upbeat music) >> Hello everyone, welcome back to theCUBE's exclusive coverage in Puerto Rico where we are broadcasting the Blockchain Unbound event This is a global conference where people from around the world are coming together From Silicone Valley, from New York, Miami, all around the world Coming to talk about Blockchain, the disruptive nature of crypto currency and the decentralized applications and how it's changing the world, creating a lot of value My next guest is Albert Santalo, the founder and CEO of Eight Base, the number Eight Base

Albert, thanks for joining me >> Thank you, John, it's good to be here >> So before we get into it, we'll talk on camera a little bit about what you guys are doing I want you to take a minute to explain what Eight Base is, why, what you guys are doing? What are you disrupting and what's the value proposition? >> So Eight Base is software to build software So if you've ever, if you're familiar with Wicks or SquareSpace for websites, we essentially do the same thing for this big category called enterprise software

And if you've every been around enterprise software project, it's no fun It's really expensive, takes a lot of time and it's froth with danger We make that easy and we empower a group of people called citizen developers Basically, regular business people to build their own software without having to hire developers >> You know, cloud computing has done a lot of great things

One of them is this notion of making coding easier But Blockchain is now a whole new growth phase onto of cloud computing and internet of things, where you have new languages, new key for Ethereum to whatever, yet there's a demand for talent There's now creative thinking involved As people rethink business models, re-imagine either sovereignty or a business process, the creativity's in the people, the business model Not necessarily the technologies, although they're involved

So there's been a challenge for how do you make it easy? So you guys are trying to do that, what's the secret sauce? Is it a tech-play, is it a business-play, cloud-play? How do you guys look at that? >> You're striking at the essence of what we do So if you think about Blockchain, a lot of work that's been done so far has been sort of protocol level stuff and the applications that most of us see on top of it are things that don't quite look like they're finished products, right And it has to do with the fact that it's core engineers that are really trying to bring this all to the surface So what we are is the next layer of infrastructure on top of that protocol level And we excel at a beautiful user interface that makes it simple for normal people to build these systems quickly and inexpensively without having to have an IQ of 140 plus which is the people that do Blockchain

>> We've seen this similar movie before and I want to get your entrepreneurial background in a separate segment but this is something that's actually happening in cloud computing and in data-science, you've seen the citizen analyst Cause data-science you have to code python and there's like only a certain population that can do that, but what happened was people were building abstraction layers to make it really easy to wrangle data, use data-science, visualizations, whether it's tableau or whatever, that really changed the nature of what data-science became And now the benefits in the data-analytics space is multi-fold You're seeing examples of that Talk about some use cases that you guys are doing and be specific with some examples of how you see it playing out

How much do they need? Is it a dashboard, how would you envision the product? What's it going to look like? >> This has an enormous democratizing effect, right So what you're talking about is that data-science was hard to access, expensive to access, only a few people in the world really could do it and then these layers of abstractions have facilitated a much wider group of people being able to do it So that's exactly what we're doing We're at the same time bringing the development of software closer to where the requirements live because literally, the people finding the requirements can develop their own software So what you're going to see is a rollout of Blockchain and non-Blockchain software just accelerated and put into the hands of more people which strikes at the heart of digital transformation

We've all heard about this theme digital transformation It's businesses that if they don't evolve and adopt Blockchain, AI, all these other things, they have a threat of being put of business That's where the big opportunity for Eight Base is >> Digital transformation certainly is going to reshape things, so the idea of having a Blockchain-enabled app, you're going to make it easier for someone to do that What use cases do you envision being the low-hanging fruit, as you guys go to the market? What are some of the use cases? Because developers still can contribute to your model

Explain how the role of true developer? I get the part of easy to program, because that's natural, leggo-blocked, making it easy How does it grow? How does it evolve? >> So the citizen developer is what we've talked about until now There's something called the Eight Based server-less chaise which is the heart of the system In that part of our world, developers or core engineers can work to extend the platform And in the process of that, they can earn tokens and basically create a business model for themselves

Either one-time payment or a recurring payment So Eight Base will evolve very, very, rapidly Not only through Eight Bases' development work and our development team, but through the world at large contributing new capabilities Think of a Blockchain, a new Blockchain that comes out, that's innovative, all they have to do is create an extension to the Eight Base platform and now that's accessible to all the Eight Base users in the world, right >> So let me get this right, see if I can unpack this, see if I can un-connect the dots

You're essentially creating software to make people that want to write software really easy So they essentially invoke some thing and it automatically writes the software for them, so they don't have to And then you have a development eco-system that can add more to that, much like a marketplace Is that kind of getting it right? >> Yes, so, when you talk about writing the system, it's a yes and no >> Okay

>> So one thing we're not, is a code generator So the software is created but runs inside of our environment because we think the environment is also more than half of the value that we add We have a fully fault-tolerant, scalable cloud-base environment so that the same people who want to develop don't have to worry about IT So that's really, really important >> You've nailed the operational piece

>> That's right and it's fully self-service, so there's no human intervention So people can try Eight Base before they buy it without having to talk to salespeople, without having to drop a credit card and without having to have implementation people involved >> That sounds like a great cloud solution to me And certainly, cloud has proven that a set of services, you know, push-button, kind of capability, Amazon's been very successful, Amazon's Web Service, with their marketplace Why even provision code, just click on and use it

>> And by the way, in talking about Amazon, what we're doing, in my opinion, wasn't even possible 15 years ago Even though many of our competitors which date back to those days tried Things like Amazon Web Services, the Google Cloud, many of the open-source things including Blockchain are what facilitates what we do because we don't have to write it all We can leverage these incredible underlying technologies and curate them in way that makes it accessible to people >> So you're tailwind for your business is the open-source software market, you're differentiations, you're running all the operations for them so they don't have to and so you have an extensive, and you're also providing the value of having a Blockchain-enabled capability for someone who's not trained

>> Yes and a visual interface that normal people can understand in terms of building software A no-code, what we called a no-code >> Define, normal >> Well, you know, most of the population >> Yeah, who want Blockchain, who wants the benefits of it, you guys abstract that away, great

So ICO, you guys doing a fundraising? You guys doing an ICO? What's the plans? >> We have plans for a token sale but I can't talk about it just yet >> Okay, I respect that, okay cool So that sounds like it's rocking and rolling Let's talk about you So were just joking off camera, big Hurricane's fan from Miami

They're going to get their mojo back >> Looks that way >> I love the chain, the turnover chain, fantastic Love to see the action, energy there But you also have a lot of success in the industry

Also, you have some scar tissue as us guys, growing up in that era where you have to provision your own stuff Go to venture capital, get the funding It was a slog, I mean, on many levels Some got easier overtime, certainly agile programming helped a lot, but now with cloud and now with this new marketplace where you have almost a global footprint capability How do you talk to people and say, hey you know, I've been there

I've walked to school with no shoes, back in the day and now it's so much better How do you talk about this wave? I mean, because it's a bigger wave than anything we've seen before, certainly, a lot of things coming together at once >> So I love this topic I've stood up a couple of venture-back technology companies, probably the one I'm best known for is Care Cloud which is backed by Silicone Valley VCs and, you know, I've raised a fare amount of angel investments and venture capital and I appreciate the model, right It's got its pros and cons and when you talk about scar tissue, you know, all our entreprenuers have scar tissue, whether they were funded or not

I also had a very unique experience because I was at the signing of the Jobs Act I was standing behind the president at the White House and at the time I was beginning to sort of imagine what could become of that and I did a PBS interview sort of like this It was actually a debate, talking about it back then And I never would have imagined, we were talking about things like crowd-funding and stuff like that but never in a million years could I have envisioned what Blockchain could have brought to all this and what ICOs would have looked like and what crowd-funding at a global environment Up until that time we thought of most of entrepreneurship as a U

S phenomenon Now it's a very much global phenomenon So I'm very excited about what's coming I think it creates an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs all over the world to sort of emerge and do what they do

Whether they know VCs personally or not, which is sort of part of the problem As long as this industry doesn't get too crazy, we can sort of keep that under control and let it grow >> My personal opinion, having a venture-back company in the past, my current business-looking angle, theCUBE is self-funded, no outside capital It's interesting because there's three types of funding elements going on in this ICO bubble The startup and then the other end of the spectrum is that, oh shit, we're going out of business, throw the hail Mary, okay

Pivot, that's what they call it now We use to call it, shit, we're going out of business! Now it's called, accu-hire and pivoting And then in the middle is really where the action is Growth companies that actually have a business model and need growth capital at a scale and technology infrastructure has token economics built in That's where I see most of the smart money going

On the startup side there's an argument for VCs because that's a good, a lot of my friends are VCs and they've been on theCUBE They need nurturing, they need advice, they need to have the network effect, and they need to have that service provider But some can go right to the value faster So you see the startup category kind of bifurcate into, you know, I really want the VCs and to some, I just want to get to first base, get this thing done and I'll re-evaluate And there's the holy-grail which is token economics already built in, growth companies

Okay, so that being said, from your perspective, when you look at the Jobs Act, you mentioned that, so I also find that there's new levels of startups coming on, not just the technological entrepreneurs In Washington DC I've covered in great detail with Teresa Carlson, who's the head of Amazon's Web Services global public sector, this tsunami of societal entrepreneurship where NGOs because of the Jobs Act can now invest in mission-driven startups So what's happening is a level of entrepreneurs coming in, solving stuff that would never get funded by a VC

Talking about a women's abuse app or missing, exploited children or solving world hunger, these used to be philanthropy missions that when there's no more funding, everything's dead Now there's entrepreneurship going on, there are people doing stuff they know they want to do but need to code This is kind of where you're targeting Kind of a data-point to validate what you're doing, right? >> First of all, I love the fact that that's happening Things that are good for a society obviously is good for everybody

But I would also say that beyond that, you know, people are sort of, if you're lucky enough in life to find out what you're really passionate about, sometimes that always doesn't align itself with profits So we're giving them an opportunity for people to live a more fulling life by following their dreams and doing good by society, right But at the end of the day, we have to be able to fund these things and we have to be able to support them And things like the Jobs Act and crowd-funding and stuff have really given life to this stuff >> Well the thing about NGOs in these new areas is that they don't have a lot of tech expertise

They have a lot of years of experience in the channels and their relationships and their mission but now there's like, oh damn I got to build something So who do you turn to? This is kind of where the model of simplicity is really kind of key >> Eight Base is designed for exactly that So when we think about where's Eight Base used? First and foremost we think small to mid-sized businesses that are looking to digitally transform, okay Then we think of large companies where departmentally people don't necessarily want to go to their IT department

They do what's called shadow-IT They build their own stuff Eight Base is a much more, it's a much better, much more compliant way to do that, and businesses to be able to cycle faster But the last thing is entrepreneurs So imagine, today we have all these platforms to make entrepreneurship easier

Well imagine if you could literally build your product very, very easily without having to hire developers? Think about how we're spawning companies left and right So part of what we like to do is really be a catalyst for that type of economy overtime >> Shadow-IT, I've said on theCUBE many times, has been legitimized with the cloud It used to be kind of a, you know, quiet little secret You go around, put the credit card down, spin up some servers, get a little prototype and then show the boss and they'll double down on that

Similar kind of concept going on in this world Get something going, show some momentum >> And get some money >> You guys take care of that for everybody Okay, so what's going on in Puerto Rico? Let's shift gears

We're here in Puerto Rico, what's your observation, what's the vibe? Obviously, they're trying to bid themselves out like they want to be a haven for entrepreneurship, bring the local culture together What are you hearing here in the hallways here? What are you talking about? What's some of the observations? >> First of all I'm a big fan of Puerto Rico I live in Miami so I've been to Puerto Rico many, many times and the place has been hard hit by the hurricane I love the fact that the government was able to reform the tax situation five years ago and I think it's exactly that type of thing that will bring, sort of, that will spawn the type of innovation that we need here All communities need to evolve, in my opinion, to technology communities

You've seen it obviously Silicone Valley is the exaggerated example but you've seen it in places like Detroit, New York, Austin, and even Miami is very important A big, big part of the message I carry When you live on a island, it's sort of has an even different dynamic, but there's no reason why that can't emerge here in Puerto Rico I'm hopeful that these incentives, et cetera, will attract that kind of– >> It's a short flight to the mainland It's entrepreneurial center

>> It's the United States >> It's the United States With digital, there's no boundaries with digital cultural Opportunity for them >> That's right

>> Albert, thanks for spending the time What's next for you, what are you going to do? Obviously, you've got your business you're building, can't talk about your token sale >> Well we haven't literally launched the company yet but we're anticipating that next week or the following we're actually going to make our announcement and then they'll be lots of announcements after that >> Come on, give us a little bit more, you're teasing us here >> By the way, today is our birthday so we were incorporated in ides of March 2017

>> Let's hope that's good luck (Albert laughs) Albert Santalo, founder and CEO of Eight Base, look for him We'll be watching the news, trying to get some scoop here but he's not giving in Good job, well done, seasoned pro >> Thank you, John

>> We'll be back with more live coverage here in Puerto Rico for theCUBE's coverage of Blockchain Unbound Thanks for watching, we'll be right back (lively music)